Here is the short version:

- In order to do research and to train/educate others, scientists/teachers and need access to hardware. Scientific hardware is normally expensive and it doesn’t have to be.

- So we want to find out what people need in terms of equipment and build Open Source versions of them following this demand. The project can be roughly divided into two branches:

1. Map demand

2. Tools being build following demand:

Here is the longer version:

- A lot of the tools used in science are developed (at least their first prototypes/starting ideas) inside universities and laboratories funded with public money. In order to bring these tools to market, these ideas are patented and licensed to a company that will then take all steps necessary (and there are a lot of them) to bring these ideas to a commercial state.

- This is good in the sense that universities and the industry can work in collaboration to leverage each others’ strengths. But it is bad in the sense that something that had a lot of public investment becomes closed by default.

- Trying to remedy this problem, we would like to build Open Source Scientific Hardware, something that is being done by several groups/communities around the globe. A bit different (as far as we know) is that we are trying to map what researchers need and build following these needs, with the rationale that we can maximize the benefits of our efforts by building tools that are needed by a large number of users, so we are dividing this project into steps:

  1. Map the demand (This started as a collaboration between Prometheus Science and “Rede de Pesquisadores”, Wikimedia Germany (via the Freieswissen Fellowship) and the Mozilla Foundation (via the Mozilla Fellowship), this project is expected to be completed (at least a first map) by June 2019.

  2. Engage people and communities who are building/using hardware to start building following the map. This is an ongoing effort. More information can be found at the project github page